Congratulations! Winning reflections on Cynthia Enloe talk

Earlier this year, the legendary feminist and IR theorist Professor Cynthia Enloe made a virtual visit to University of Edinburgh as Politics and IR’s Distinguished Scholar 2021.  PIR and GENDER.ED jointly sponsored a student competition for best reflections on Professor Enloe’s keynote talk, which was entitled The International Politics of the #MeToo Movement: Are They Now Merely Yesterday?

We are delighted to announce the winner is Emily Mann, a  Sociology PhD student and the highly commended runner up is  Sachinda Dulanjana Witharana who is completing his MSc in International and European Politics.

Emily’s reflection in the form of a poem impressed the judges with its creative take on the issues raised, and found the contribution powerful and beautiful in its combination of rage and hope.

You can read the winning entry here

Emily shared the piece with Cynthia Enloe, who responded:

Poetry and IR. Alas, the combination doesn’t come swiftly to mind. But that is probably only because we (well, a lot of us) just haven’t yet crafted a wide enough variety of forms to express the subtleties and puzzles of political experience.

Emily Mann’s energizing poem underscores for me how intensely personal politics can be when viewed though a clear feminist lens – not only its values, not only its dynamics, but also its inequities, its oppressiveness – and, and, and politics’ potentials for genuine liberation through solidarity.

Thank you Emily.

Emily is a first-gen graduate researching power and policing. In the midst of her sociology PhD she teaches criminology, criminal justice and politics. She is elated with the judges’ description of her poem as “powerful in its combination of rage and hope.” Drop her an email on or follow her at @EmilyMann_  where she tweets about mental health in academia, living with PMDD and her dog Olive.

The highly commended runner-up, Sachinda Dulanjana Witharana, is a Chevening Scholar from Sri Lanka and is completing his  MSc in International and European Politics at University of Edinburgh. The judges were both impressed with the honest and thoughtful take on the issues raised. Sachinda’s contribution brought powerful insights from a global South perspective.

Sachinda is the former speaker of Sri Lanka Youth Parliament. He has also held the positions of the official Sri Lankan youth delegate to the 71st UN General Assembly and Asia regional representative for Commonwealth Student Association. He was also the former social secretary for Edinburgh Political Union. Currently, he works in the capacity of the policy officer for Edinburgh University Sustainable Development Association.

His official page on Facebook:

He tweets as @Revolutionist28

Congratulations Emma and Sachinda! Thank you for sharing your reflections.